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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTORY    AIS^D    HUMAN    RELATIONS

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at all if, instead of even the pretence of a Cromwell, we
are offered a fictitious personage through whom the
characteristics of the age are merely illustrated. The
documentation of Macaulay's History is sufficiently
defective if we compare it with all that is known or
available at the present day; but in its own time it
represented an advance, and amounted to a contribution
to learning, especially in respect of the reign of William
III. The materials and methods used by Carlyle when
he reconstructed the battles of Frederick the Great, as
well as the notes that he made when he visited the
battlefields themselves, have shown how he balanced,
collated and criticised his authorities, using one for this
purpose and another very properly for that, while
making judgments, even to the detriment of Frederick,
after an independent estimate and survey of the resulting
narrative. It has been pointed out that Froude was the
first Englishman to enter the rich repository of docu-
ments at Simancas. The literary historians did not by
any means try to check that development of manuscript
research which was proceeding from comparatively
simple beginnings in their time.

The insistence of tbe literary historian on the process
of actual " resurrection " has a definite significance for
all who are students of the past. It stands as a corrective
to some of the defects of the scientific analyst and to
those general surveys which abridge and telescope the
course of centuries. It carries the consequence that the
men of the past are regarded as—in a certain sense—
ends in themselves, and the life of a given generation is
envisaged as a world to be studied for its own sake.

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